Before Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan as his running mate, the Wisconsin congressman visited Raleigh for a vetting among top Republicans.
Ryan sat for a business round table at Big Ed's, flanked by the Republican House and Senate leaders, top GOP lobbyist Tom Fetzer and party officials. He spoke coherently about why his controversial budget plan is worth the talk, even if it seems to upend Medicare and other longtime government programs.
And his visit drew a rebuke from a man Ryan will likely hear more from: Vice President Joe Biden. “He is a bright, handsome guy from Wisconsin," Biden said. "He is a fine guy. But I think his ideas are not nearly as fine."
The "Big Ed's debate" in North Carolina is just a preview of what's to come this campaign season. Ryan is expected to return to the area with Romney to North Carolina on Sunday. And Biden will visit the area a day later.